Pilatus Aircraft is expanding its presence in Broomfield, Colorado, with a new completions center that will be able to accommodate demand in its PC-12NG turboprop line, as well as the ramp-up of its PC-24 light jet. The Swiss aircraft manufacturer yesterday held a grand opening ceremony of the 118,000-sq-ft center at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), drawing more than 200 Pilatus employees, dealers, suppliers, local and state government officials, and invited guests to the event.
The facility will provide interior and exterior completions for both aircraft models that are bound for customers in North and South America. Consolidating Pilatus' operations at KBJC, the center houses fabrication and installation shops, a spare parts inventory to support the service center network, and offices for technical support personnel and business management groups.
“We are proud to be able to continue producing and supporting the industry’s highest quality aircraft here in Colorado,” said Thomas Bosshard, president and CEO of the company's U.S. arm, Pilatus Business Aircraft. “Over the past 20 years, we have built up a talented workforce that maintains the high-quality standards set by our Swiss parent company.”
With the North and South American markets accounting for upwards of 70 percent of Pilatus’s business aircraft sales, the center is anticipated to handle between 25 to 30 PC-24s each year, in addition to the 55 PC-12NGs that are typically completed in Broomfield in a given year. With the additional aircraft type and strong PC-12 demand, Pilatus expects employment will grow at the base by some 30 percent over the next three years.
In concert with the increased hiring plans, Pilatus has rolled out an apprenticeship program to meet the demand. That program is modeled after common apprenticeship programs in Switzerland, the company said, combining training, education, and development efforts. Apprentices are paid to learn trade skills and earn a degree without college debt.